Rama Subramaniam Gandhi, the former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), believes it is vital to accept cryptocurrencies as assets. Gandhi, who served the central from 2014 to 2017, shared his views during an event organized by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and the Blockchain & Crypto Assets Council (BCAC). In his speech, he said the current laws that govern commodity exchanges could also apply to crypto.
According to Gandhi, bringing crypto assets under the purview of commodity laws would automatically let Indians start purchasing, selling, and HODLing such coins. He claimed that after years of debate, people have discovered cryptos cannot function as currencies because they are not legal tender. Gandhi further noted that the general agreement among policymakers is that cryptos are assets.
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With this in mind, the former central banker said it becomes easy to regulate cryptocurrencies. Calling for crypto governance, he said chances are high that people will use crypto assets for criminal activities if there aren’t regulations. He further noted that all jurisdictions should have clear regulatory frameworks that show economic activities involving crypto do not support illicit activities.
Gandhi found no fault with the anonymous, independent, and untraceable nature of cryptos. Instead, he vouched for different jurisdictions implementing a set of rules that ensure society members do not use crypto illegally. To achieve this, the financier noted that the jurisdictions must create laws that penalize non-compliance.
Indians continue embracing crypto despite RBI’s bearish stance
This news comes after RBI echoed its concerns over cryptocurrencies in June, saying cryptocurrencies facilitate money laundering and terrorist financing. The regulator also noted that it had shared expressed these concerns to the government.
Before this, India’s Supreme Court overruled RBI’s 2018 ban that prohibited banks from offering crypto firms services. As a result, RBI informed banks that they are free to facilitate crypto trades and that they should not cite its 2018 notice as a reason to deny crypto firms services. Nonetheless, RBI cautioned that banks should continue exercising due diligence when dealing with crypto, adding that its stance on crypto has not changed.
While RBI remains bearish on crypto, Indian’s don’t have the same outlook. Reportedly, data from Chainalysis, a blockchain data provider, indicates that Indians have been increasingly investing in crypto despite their obsession with gold. Per Chainalysis, crypto investments in India grew from $923 million in April 2020 to $6.6 billion in May 2021.
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